Our response to Government.
At the beginning of November we received written confirmation from Government of its decision to stop funding Time to Change. We were very disappointed that the letter did not outline the Government’s plans to address mental health stigma and discrimination into the future.
While we welcome what is being done to provide people with the advice and information they need to sustain good mental health from both the Government, through Every Mind Matters, and the wider charity sector, without a centralised campaign attitudes towards mental health are likely to deteriorate and many people will not seek help when they need it.
Like many of you, we believe that ending mental health stigma and discrimination must be the cornerstone of any national mental health policy.
Alongside our charity partners, Mind and Rethink Mental Illness, we have written to Government to highlight our concerns and have asked them to agree to our three point plan:
1. Put anti stigma and discrimination work at the heart of mental health planning.
With our social movement at its heart, set out clear goals that must be delivered to maintain the improvements that have been made in public attitudes towards mental health problems, as part of any public mental health programme. This plan must involve people with lived experience of mental health stigma and discrimination in creating and implementing behaviour change activity.
2. Work towards equity
Ensure equity for all and commit to guaranteeing those who are most severely impacted by mental health stigma and discrimination - including those from BAME communities and those experiencing less well known or understood mental health problems - benefit from national behaviour change programmes in the future.
3. Monitor and publish public attitudes data
Continue to annually survey and publish data on public attitudes towards mental health problems, to effectively monitor the issue through the Attitude to Mental Illness measures.